According to authorities, the 49-year-old suspect obtained financing for bogus real estate projects by posing as a qualified real estate developer, broker, and investor.
The suspect allegedly had a 52-year-old accomplice, a disbarred attorney, who helped him commit the fraud.
The suspects are accused of defrauding 15 people out of approximately $3.4 million. The fake real estate projects included a pizzeria in the Bahamas, an Atlantic City NJ casino, and a shopping center complex in Matawan, New Jersey.
After securing the investment money from the victims, the suspects allegedly used the funds to pay for their personal expenses and cover their gambling losses.
Law enforcement investigated the suspect and eventually obtained enough evidence to arrest the men and charge them with fraud.
In August 2014, the suspects were indicted for wire fraud.
According to federal prosecutors, the first suspect eventually admitted to his role in the real estate scam and reached a plea deal.
The suspect recently made an appearance in federal court in Newark New Jersey, where he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped five other wire fraud charges against the suspect.
When the suspect returns to U.S. District Court in Newark in January 2016, he will face a potential sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
The wire fraud charges against the other suspect are pending.
For further information about this case, access the NJ.com article entitled “N.J. Man Cops to Role in $3.4M Real Estate Investment Scam.”